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Contest Winner Blog: Not Alone by Audra Bergevin

Our summer writing contest has come to an end, and we are so excited to share the winning entries! To all those who had daughters enter a story, we hope that this was a great experience for you both. Thank you for helping her use her creativity in this way! We saw some absolutely fantastic entries, and it was so difficult to narrow it down to our winners. We hope that this contest encouraged the next generation of writers to create stories with a purpose, because what we read matters! Our grand prize winning story came from 12 year old Audra Bergevin. Audra’s story included everything we were looking for, and taught a great lesson along the way! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

About the Author: 

Audra Bergevin is 12 years old and just finished 7th grade. She’s a natural storyteller! She has been writing stories since she was 2 or 3, when she would draw pictures and dictate what she wanted her mom to write. Now she writes them herself and her stories really shine! Like the main character in her story, Audra loves ballet. She also enjoys learning French, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Not Alone

“Okay girls, I have booked a performance for us at White Hills Nursing Home in three weeks!” The dancers cheered.

“We’ll be performing our 3 group dances and I’m giving Lexi a solo!” Ms. Anna smiled at Lexi, whose face was blank.
“Lexi, you have a solo called ‘Not Alone’ by a band named Family Force 5. I know you’ll be great!”
Lexi shut her eyes. She imagined her grandpa saying how much he was looking forward to her performance. Her heart ached – She missed him so much.
Ever since he passed on, Lexi felt different. She was missing their long discussions, their heartfelt conversations, and their humorous debates. He always came to her shows and cheered her on. He always listened to her dreams, worries, and problems. He was her great friend- maybe even her best friend.

Lexi worried she would never find joy again. Would she ever fill that deep gap in her soul?
Ms. Anna cleared her throat. Lexi looked up. “Unless you don’t think you can. It’s all good, Lexi. Honestly, it might actually help you cope.”
Lexi put on a fake grin. “A solo, Ms. Anna? That’s, um, that’s great. I’ll get back to you. I mean, after my
grandpa-”
“Oh, Lexi. I understand you’re missing him, but I thought you really wanted a solo and I choreographed this just for you!” Ms. Anna put her hand on Lexi’s shoulder.
“Thank you, Ms. Anna. I really
appreciate it.” Lexi said, as her thoughts returned to grandpa.

She remembered how a month ago, mom had called her in to tell her he was very close to meeting the Lord. Lexi felt like her heart shattered when the news soaked in. Now Lexi wondered if her heart would ever mend. It was only a matter of days before her grandpa died. Lexi had hated with everything in her to have to say goodbye. How could she say farewell to a friend she loved so much? The tears glistened in her eyes just thinking about the moment. She wished she could just talk to him one more time.

Before she left, Ms. Anna stopped her.”I’m very sorry, Lexi, if I hurt your feelings. I know how you’re hurting and if you ever need someone to talk to I’m here for you, honey.” Ms. Anna brought in Lexi for a hug. “You’re a very talented dancer, Lexi. Do you know that?” Lexi thanked her and went outside to her dad’s car. She had no idea what to do. Her mom would probably say do it, but would she be able to do it without him there?
Everyday, she missed him more and more. She feared that once she got on stage, she would look for grandpa’s kind countenance in the audience and when she wouldn’t see it, be reminded of their goodbye. It was risky. Too risky. She didn’t want to be embarrassed in
front of so many people.

Lexi headed upstairs upon getting home. She put her dance bag in her room and glanced at the clock. 8:30pm. Lexi yawned. She had to get this whole solo thing sorted out. She went across the hallway to her parents’ room.

“Hey mom, can we talk about something?” Lexi sat on her mom’s bed and sighed.
“Of course, Lexi. I’m always here for you.” Her mom closed the book she was reading and set it down beside her. “What’s bothering you?”
“Today at dance, Ms. Anna announced that we’re performing at a nursing home… and I have a solo.”
“That’s great, honey!”
“No, it’s not great.” Lexi corrected. How would she explain this to her mom?
“Lexi you’ve always dreamed of doing a solo. I’m sure you’ll do amazing!”
“But, mom, this will be my first time performing since grandpa…” Lexi tried to hold the tears back, but it felt like she was holding back the ocean. “I miss him, mom. I miss him a lot.”
Her mom passed her a tissue. “I know, Lexi. You two were so close.”
Lexi nodded. “Yeah.”
“Still, I think you should take the opportunity. It’s not every day you can have a solo.”
Lexi wiped her eyes. “Grandpa always came to my shows – whether it was my recital in town or my
competition states away. It’ll be weird not having him there.”
“Yes, Lexi. It’ll be weird. But there’ll be grandmas and grandpas there who miss their grandkids and think of how happy you will make them.” Lexi’s mom reasoned.
“That’s true. But what if -”
“No ‘what if’, Lexi. You’ll dance wonderfully.”
“You think?”
“I know, honey.”
“Okay, mom. I’ll think about it. Thanks.”
Lexi got up.
“I really hope you’ll do it.”
Lexi shrugged and started walking out the door.
“Grandpa would want you to.”
Lexi turned around to face her mom.
“I’m going to bed now.”
“Goodnight, Lexi.”

Lexi opened the door to the dance studio. She had solo practice that night and was anxious that Ms. Anna would bring up grandpa again like she had at the last group rehearsal. Lexi just told her that she would decide by the time her solo rehearsals rolled around if she would perform or not.
Inside, there was Lexi’s teacher, sitting by her dance bag.
“Hello, Lexi.” Ms. Anna said with a smile.
“Hi, Ms. Anna.” Lexi slid on her lyrical shoes, called dance paws.
“So, I’m assuming you’re doing the solo?”
Lexi turned red at the question. Would Ms. Anna get mad? The thought gave Lexi a knot in the stomach. She sat down on the wood floor.
“I’m not sure yet, but I’m starting to think I will.”
“Lexi, you said you’d decide by tonight. Yes or no?” Ms. Anna looked as worried as Lexi.
“Well, it’s just that… I guess I’m just having some extreme conflict inside. It’s like the old me is offering her life’s allowance for this solo, but everything’s different since he’s gone and the me now just doesn’t know if she can be able to do it, Ms. Anna. I’m so sorry.”
“Lexi, I really get that you’re struggling, but I don’t want us to invest our time and energy if you can’t do it. I support your decision both ways, but I need some notice if you’re not doing it. Please, Lexi, are you doing it or not?”
Lexi took a deep breath, tears stinging her eyes. “Yes. I am doing it.” The knot in her stomach tightened. Surely, Ms. Anna would understand if she ended up not doing it- right?
“Great! I’ve changed some of the lyrics of the song to fit your story. Let’s have a listen.” Ms. Anna walked over to the radio and hit ‘play’.
Ms. Anna started doing a beautiful, emotional dance to the song.
Lexi listened to lyrics:

So alone
Without you
I’m holding on to the memories
Photographs
They can’t last
It’s killing me cause I miss you
It’ll be okay
I breathe in
Just knowing that you loved me
Yeah I’m holding back the tears now
Someone tell me that I’m not alone                                                                                                                                    

Ms. Anna stopped the music.
“So, what do you think?”
Lexi grinned. “I am so excited.” A few tears dotted her face. Lexi finally knew how much she could
bring to the dance.

It’ll be hard, she thought. But I’ll make it.

The morning of the show, Lexi’s heart was beating fast. She knew her dances very well, but what if she got nervous before her performance? Would Ms. Anna kick her off the team? Lexi didn’t want that to happen.
She went through her morning routine, thinking through the choreography again and again. She pushed out the  dissolving thoughts of grandpa, which were becoming less and less every day. This worried Lexi.
She didn’t want to forget. She didn’t want to lose the memories of his face, his voice, the way he smiled at her when she asked hard questions. She never wanted that to leave. She wanted to lock it all away forever. But, to her dismay, those little details faded softly into a distant sliver of Lexi’s heart. She kept sneaking peeks at her beautiful costume- a light blue dress with ribbons around the arms and a shimmery, flowy skirt that was low in the back and higher in the front. Lexi adored it.
In the car on the way to White Hills, her mother encouraged her.
“Try to take your bottled up emotions, your stress and sadness and anger and thoughts, and pour them all out into your solo.” That thought brought in a new perspective for Lexi. She would do exactly as her mom said. She would take all these worries and problems of hers and all the sadness in her soul and express it in her facial expressions and movement. Lexi realized that just choreography is okay, but expressiveness creates a whole new layer of meaning for the audience.
The group dances went well, but Lexi was saving her emotions and energy for her solo – the grand finale.
She was helped into her costume and then she added a quick spritz of hairspray to her intricately braided bun. Lexi took a deep breath and headed to the wings of the makeshift stage.
“Share with the audience your story. Show them what it’s like to lose someone. Let them not they are not alone.” Ms. Anna whispered. Lexi nodded. “Thanks, Ms. Anna.”
Ms. Anna smiled and turned on the music. Lexi walked slowly to the center, every step in time with the music. She seemed to put so much effort into her large steps, it created a mournful effect.
When the choreography began, what Lexi was so worried about happening happened.
She thought of grandpa.
Instead of running away our searching the crowd, she put it into her dance, her face, her soul and she brought the audience into her world. She once again had someone to let in on her secrets, fears, and dreams. She felt relief- a burden lifted. She soared with every jump, knowing and truly believing that she was not alone. She had God on her side and no matter what He would take care of her.
As she curtsied, the audience clapped and cheered. Those who could stood in a standing ovation. Many were smiling, a few even tearing up, Lexi beamed and headed off to the backstage area.

Her friends hugged her and Ms. Anna told her over and over again how well she did. Lexi was crying, with joy and relief and she said to herself that the very last bit of sadness deep in her heart slid down her cheek. Walking over to her mom, Lexi was stopped by an older man who very closely resembled Lexi’s grandpa. Lexi was trembling with all that had happened.
“You danced beautifully today, Your dancing reminds me of my granddaughter. I haven’t seen her in years and I’ve been really missing her. I didn’t know if I’d ever be as happy as I was when I was with her, but watching you dance reminded me I’m not alone and that God is with me always.”
And Lexi, crying, ran into his open arms.

 

Dannah Gresh’s Secret Keeper Girl Tour is a faith-based mother-daughter connecting experience. This 2 1/2 hour event features two fun fashion shows that demonstrate modesty and true beauty, deep Bible teaching, live worship, and stories that help girls aged 7-12 embrace true beauty and modesty. Incredible balloon sculptures, bouncing beach ball competitions, mother/daughter conversation time & colorful confetti cannons make the night unforgettable. Click the video below for a sneak peak.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

Aubrey
 

Laura - July 26, 2017

We read your story aloud at the breakfast table, Audra. It was so touching. Thank you for sharing such a relatable, beautiful story. Congratulations on winning the writing contest! We hope it encourages you to keep writing. You have good stories to tell.

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